Four Ways to Save Money on Car Repair Costs
If you own a car, you know car repairs can be expensive. It's possible to keep your car running in tip-top shape without breaking the bank by following these four helpful tips to reduce car repair prices.
1. Find a mechanic you can trust
The single most effective way to save on car repair costs is to find a reputable mechanic. One way to go about this is to ask family, friends and coworkers for recommendations. Also, you can go online to search for certified repair shops recommended by your insurance company and other automotive organizations, or read customer reviews.
Be sure to compare prices of several credible repair shops. When you've narrowed down the list, consider taking your car to the new mechanic for a smaller service first to make sure you're comfortable with them.
2. Be prepared with diagnostics
Not familiar with car speak? That's all right - you can sound like you are during your next trip to the mechanic with very little effort. Avoid charges for unnecessary repairs by doing your homework. Many auto parts stores offer free diagnostic testing through a similar computer your mechanic will use. The results should be very close, if not the same. The computer will return a code number that corresponds online. Another bonus: Imagine how smart you will sound when you tell your mechanic to check out your car's IAC valve for a circuit failure!
3. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule
Refer to your vehicle's owner manual to check the recommended maintenance schedule. Following this schedule carefully can help prevent larger repairs - and higher car repair costs - down the road.
4. Do-it-yourself repairs
Some repairs are so simple you can do them yourself - and for car repair prices that are a mere a fraction of what a mechanic would charge. Whether it's changing your oil or replacing your air filter, these jobs are easy if you're willing to learn and can save you a lot of money in the end.
If you're looking for a qualified repair shop as part of the auto insurance claims process, remember to consider choosing a mechanic recommended by your insurance company. In doing so, you may receive a written guarantee on any repairs completed and be eligible for repair updates online.
Knowing how to make your car last longer is valuable. A well-maintained car holds its value longer, costs less to operate and has less of an impact on the environment.
"Check engine" codes are your car's way of telling you what is wrong. In today's digital environment, these codes might be the only way to diagnose some engine problems.